MEP Viola von Cramon-Taubadel (The Greens/EFA, Germany) today contradicted the claim of the ruling Georgian Dream party and Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili that the opposition campaigned against Georgia’s EU candidacy during trips to Brussels.
The lawmaker, without explicitly mentioning the GD’s claims, said when she met earlier in May the members of the Lelo and ex-Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia’s For Georgia parties, “both strongly demanded the EU candidacy for Georgia despite the democratic backsliding, as ‘it is a historic chance for the country and is above all party lines.'”
The MEP’s statement comes as PM Irakli Garibashvili on May 27 pointed accusatory fingers at Lelo MP Salome Samadashvili, who he claimed was one of those allegedly campaigning against Georgia’s EU aspirations.
The PM had voiced a similar concern earlier on May 22, arguing that during his trip to Brussels “very prominent leaders” of the EU had told him that the opposition leaders were lobbying in the European capital against a “positive decision” on Georgia’s candidacy.
Some in the opposition have argued that the ruling party tried to preemptively shift responsibility on its opponents in case the EU rejects Georgia’s bid.
Georgia now awaits the European Commission’s opinion on its application in the coming weeks, as well as a decision by the EU on candidacy later in June.
Georgian Prime Minister signed the formal application for EU candidacy on March 3, following in the footsteps of Ukraine which requested membership in the bloc on February 28, in the early days of the Russian invasion. Moldova also applied on March 3.
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